Family Thrushes (Turdidae)


Somali Thrush (Turdus ludoviciae)


French: Merle de Somalie German: Somalidrossel Spanish: Zorzal somalí

Merula ludoviciae

E. L. Phillips

, 1895,

“Darass”, Somalia


Presumed close to T. olivaceus (and T. abyssinicus) and commonly treated as conspecific, although molecular evidence#R removes it elsewhere; differs in its blackish-grey vs dark olive-brown upperparts (2); black vs mid-grey to pale grey cheeks, chin, throat and breast (3); uniformly mid-grey vs rufous-buff (with paler to whitish central lower) underparts (3); much longer wing and tail (allow 2). Monotypic.


N Somalia.

Descriptive notes

23 cm; 62 g. Male is slate-grey, blacker on crown, face and throat, paler on breast to belly; undertail-coverts tipped greyish-white, underwing-coverts tinged orange-buff;... read more


Song reportedly similar to that of T. olivaceus, but alarm chatter harsher.


Juniper (Juniperus procera) woodland and adjacent open areas in mountains, at 1300–... read more

Food and feeding

Juniper berries. Often forages in small parties, and in loose groups of up to 30 at berry crops.


May and Jul. Eggs 2. No other information.


Evidently sedentary; records of groups at berry crops suggest some short-distance movement.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Previously considred Critically Endangered. Restricted-range species: present in North Somali Mountains EBA. Global puplation estimated in 2000 at 2500–10,... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Somali Thrush (Turdus ludoviciae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).